Among American socialists, “market socialism” (a publicly owned economy relying mainly on the market mechanism for its allocative decisions) has commonly been considered a misnomer—when it has been considered at all. But in France a faction of the Socialist party, supported by close to 40 percent of the membership, advocates a form of socialism in which market forces would play a major role. It’s an old story that in the Communist countries of Eastern Europe it is considered “progressive and even radical to advocate greater reliance on markets.”
Now at last there are signs of interest in the U.S. From May 1978 on, for over a year, In These Times held an extended discussion on market socialism, beginning with three articles by Leland Stauber and continuing with readers’ responses. And in a recent Dissent article, Michael Harrington came close to investing the market with a primary role, in his “What Socialists Would...
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